BISON WOMEN OPEN PAC PLAY WITH 60-53 WIN OVER WESTMINSTER
Dec. 1 - BETHANY, W.Va. - Sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) fired in 16 of her career-high 24 points in the second half to help the Bethany College women's basketball team hold on for a 60-53 victory over Westminster Wednesday night at Hummel Field House.
The victory was the Bison's first in a conference opener since 2006 and raised their record to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the PAC, while the Titans fall to 2-4 and 0-1.
The opening stanza was tightly-contested early, as there were 10 lead changes in the first 20 minutes. Bethany seized control of the game by closing the half with a 16-4 run, which was highlighted by nine consecutive points from junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park). Taormina gave a glimpse of what the second half would feature when she capped the run with a three with 24 ticks left to send BC into halftime with a 31-20 lead.
Taormina was the story of the second half, as hit all six of her field goal attempts after halftime, including a three-pointer to give Bethany a 54-39 margin with 6:39 to play. Westminster would mount a rally, as they slowly chipped away at the Bison lead until a lay-up by Kaitlin McCarthy brought the visitors within 58-53 with 18 seconds to play. Bethany, who made only 7-of-16 from the foul line in the game, finally clinched the triumph with single foul shots by Taormina and junior Audra Droginske in the final seconds.
The 24 points by Taormina was a season-high by any Bison and eclipsed her previous personal-best of 18, which was also set against Westminster last December. While she carried the scoring load in the second half, Hackathorn did most of her damage in the first, netting 13 of her 17 before halftime. The junior forward also corralled a team-high six rebounds.
McCarthy led Westminster by netting 21 markers in the defeat.
Bethany will try to go to 2-0 in the conference Saturday evening when they host Waynesburg in a 6 p.m. tip-off. The Yellow Jackets remained perfect on the young season with a 66-64 triumph over Chatham Wednesday to improve to 5-0.